Activism, Getting Active and Athletics
You’ve had my pledge you’ll never hear from me unless I have something to say. Now that you have waded through the deluge of cleanses and New Year’s promises to get you back in shape, however you may define that…fiscally or physically, you may be considering life beyond any promised magic bullet.
As a journalist not on the take from anyone, I am always curious about what works for people. I’ve been known to ask wait staff in restaurants who are obviously in great shape what they eat every day. Always reading. Always researching. Trying to help others understand that when you realize there’s no money in broccoli, you have to be your own investigative reporter like I was to understand the truth about food.
I am motivated by a few simple things: a desire to be a good role model for my children, since my parents were so sick and diseased by the time I had kids, my folks couldn’t lift my daughters, let alone babysit. I love seeing others make great strides toward improving their health. Like many in the vegan world, I have see so many people reverse all kinds of conditions and lose weight without counting a calorie. Put a little exercise to the music, and it is magical.
I started running, or tried to when I was 28. I wasn’t fast, and I’m not fast now…although I am faster now than I was when I was 28. But I didn’t try to be fast. I just wanted to maintain health in a way my family could only dream about. My mom, aunt and both sisters had breast cancer, and so much more. Growing up in that world was just awful. I didn’t want my children to know any of that. I started racing because it was fun and motivating. Every race I dedicated to a relative who couldn’t be there. When I started placing in my age group in 2006, I joked, “At my age, it’s just about showing up.” I did it for my kids, I said inwardly.
61 5K or longer races later, that I’ve placed in, and placing 7th this past summer in the 1500 meters for my age group, as well as 10th in the 400, 16th in the 200, and 19th in the 100 meters I’m going, “What’s this about?” Somewhere, it moved from fun to passionate mission. As I’d stand holding my race medal in my vegan racing shirt, I’d often get told, “You can’t run, race or do the Olympics on a vegan diet.” Never liking to take no for an answer, the mission kept growing, even if it was just in my own backyard. I would realize that even though I was the 5th oldest female to finish the 2011 Palm Beaches Marathon (my first), my short twitch muscles would almost always make me excel at sprints more than endurance events.
As a result of all this, the last month has borne the fruits of my labors. BadAssVegan.com deemed me “Miss December.” And the new beautifully done “Vegan Health & Fitness” magazine featured me as one of several inspiring athletes from 2013.
Lengendary bodybuilder Robert Cheeke is the force behind the magazine. Anytime anyone asks about vegan protein, I always send them to Robert’s website which is full of vegan athletes strutting their stuff, including yours truly.
I write a weekly column, “Feasting on Fitness” for the Anna Maria Island, FL “Sun.” This week’s column answers a question from a Meetup site, “What’s it like to be a vegan in Florida, or your area, Bradenton?” We’re getting there, but we need more vegans here to make it be a vegan mecca. After the polar air this week, I’m hoping more are now motivated.
I never mean to gloat about where I live. But I think it’s important to live in a place where you can get outside to exercise as much as possible. Many studies have shown we have more endorphins getting out there. Although if it’s a choice between a treadmill and not exercising, you know where the research is on that. It’s actually very cheap to live in Florida, if you know where to look.
If I can be of any help getting you motivated or finding a fitness program that’s right for you, contact me through this website. Cookie cutter programs absolutely can work. But some people need more than that. With Skype and Facetime, I can actually see and monitor your form, for a lot cheaper than joining a gym and finding a trainer there.